Miami - Iraqi and Syrian territories are not only enduring the oppression of the Islamic State’s radicalism, but they are also faced with a practice that according to ISIS fighters, it is not a sin but a religious devotion. Abducting, abusing, selling, enslaving, and violently raping women and young girls may seem like the ultimate human rights violations, but ISIS defends them as “acts of worship”.
Miami – Iraqi and Syrian territories are not only enduring the oppression of the Islamic State’s radicalism, but they are also faced with a practice that according to ISIS fighters, it is not a sin but a religious devotion. Abducting, abusing, selling, enslaving, and violently raping women and young girls may seem like the ultimate human rights violations, but ISIS defends them as “acts of worship”.
A lengthy and heart-wrenching report by The New York Times describes the horrific stories of preteen and teenage girls who have been abducted, bound, and violently raped by ISIS fighters. Girls sold as sex slaves and brutally abused without remorse until they crumble and either lose their life or escape.
According to the NY Times, these acts have been officially practiced since August 3rd 2014 when ISIS-run Islamic courts ruled the revival of “sex slavery” as an institution. Since then, over 5,270 Yazidi women have been abducted and 3,144 are still held captive. Some have managed to escape to refugee camps where they recount their terrible experiences.
Yazidi women and girls in Iraq are part of a religious minority who do not practice Islam, and ISIS claims “the Quran not only gives the right to rape [them] – it condones it and encourages it”. The NY Times interviewed 21 refugees who escaped the Islamic State’s “organized sex trade”.
The most terrifying of the recollections was by a 12-year old girl who the report describes “so small an adult could circle her waist with two hands”. She shared how the ISIS militant tied and gagged her, then prayed before and after raping her. “I kept telling him it hurts – please stop. He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God”.
According to the report, ISIS has created an “infrastructure” of rape and sex slavery; and even “established guidelines, including a lengthy how-to manual issued by the Islamic State Research and Fatwa Department”. They proliferate this horrific ideology by misinterpreting and citing “narrow and selective portions of the Quran”, where it is supposedly “spiritually beneficial, even virtuous” to perform such violent acts.
F (real name unknown), a 15-year old girl who had been sold to an Iraqi fighter and escaped, told the NY Times, “Every time that he came to rape me, he would pray. He kept telling me this is ibadah”, meaning ‘worship’ in Islamic faith. The teenager added, “He said that raping me is his prayer to God. I said to him, ‘What you’re doing to me is wrong, and it will not bring you closer to God.’ And he said, ‘No, it’s allowed. It’s halal”, meaning ‘permissible’ in Islam.
The stories of the victims are appalling and their experiences repeat over and over again. It is evident that enslaving and violently raping Yazidi women has become a fully-planned and premeditated act used by the Islamic State militants. According to several reports, ISIS officials utilize this as recruitment tool within “extreme conservative Muslim groups” where sex is taboo, to entice young men with sex to join the Islamic State.
The use of “sex slavery” contracts, written manuals of rape, claims of honor, victory and pride, as well as disgraceful and twisted interpretations of the Quran, where ISIS affirms “having sex with a slave pleases God” are alarming the world. Young men who become ISIS militants are being brainwashed to believe they have the legal and moral right to possess and destroy these women.
The Islamic State continues to terrorize and commit crimes against humanity by justifying their acts under extremist religious beliefs that cannot be accepted under any circumstance and misconstrue the Islamic faith.
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